If you're feeling so much pressure to find the wedding dress of your dreams that you think you may be going nuts, don't worry. We chatted with experts and brides who know exactlyhow you're feeling, and we asked them to spill their tips for finding the perfect wedding dress.
1. DON'T schedule your wedding dress appointment late in the day.
The early bird gets the worm—er, in this case, the early bride gets an energetic, fresh bridal store staff that hasn't dealt with the concerns of a million clients already. "If you get the first appointment of the morning, the store will likely be less crowded, and you'll get the full attention of your consultant,"
2. DO focus first on finding the best wedding dress silhouette for you.
Details are important—a long row of teensy pearl buttons and a well-placed ruffle or two can mean the difference between a good wedding dress and a great one. But before you start nitpicking the details, "first figure out the silhouette that works best for you," says gown designer "Try not to get caught up in the trend of the moment, but instead focus on your personal style and what flatters you most."
3. DON'T forget about the top of your wedding dress.
A long, gorgeous wedding dress with a fancy hem is to die for. Just remember that the top of your dress is what people will notice most—and what will show up in most wedding pictures. The majority of wedding photos that guests take of you are from the waist up.
4. DON'T pick a wedding dress just because it's trendy now.
Trendy wedding dresses won't necessarily stand the test of time—flip through your parents' wedding album for evidence of that. A gown should be timeless, and when you feel sexy and glamorous in a gown that has both modern and traditional elements, and you feel like a better version of yourself when you're wearing it, you've found your timeless gown. It's something that will never go out of style."
5. DO bring your camera wedding dress shopping (if the boutique allows it).
Embrace your inner Cher Horowitz (we all have some of the Clueless character in us) and photograph your dress possibilities instead of putting all your trust in the mirror. Mirrors are used to sell dresses—cameras don't lie. Because you'll be looking at the photos of this dress for years to come, know how it photographs from all angles. One potential hiccup: Some boutiques don't allow dress photography. Call ahead to see if you can take a few snaps for decision-making purposes only.
6. DO try on as many wedding dresses as you need to…
Resist snap judgment. "Once a dress is on a woman's body, it takes on a different shape and look," she says. "This means that a bride will try on many dresses, and she should. I had a celebrity bride try on 27 dresses at a fitting in order to find the perfect reception dress. Just as it takes time to find a husband or wife, it takes time to find the perfect gown."
…but DON'T try on too many wedding dresses.
We're not trying to confuse you here—we just mean that you shouldn't feel forced to try on more or fewer gowns than you want.If you feel like you must try on 20 different dresses at each salon you visit. Too many choices and too many places can add stress and confusion. Nine times out of 10, you will go back to your first salon and order your favorite gown anyway, so go with your gut.
DON'T feel like you must bring an audience when you try on wedding dresses.
Wedding TV shows make it look like you need to bring every one of your female relatives, your neighbor and your kindergarten teacher with you to help with the dress search. The result is negative. Too many opinions, thoughts and coordination.
DO wear a gorgeous bra when you're trying on wedding dresses.
On wedding dress try-on day, you're going to be spending a lot of time in your skivvies. Admiring your pretty new bra between gowns will make you feel much more positive than catching a glimpse of the ratty old gray one you've had for years. Plus, a well-fitting bra can actually help in your search. Many women don't realize the power of having well-fitted undergarments. Go to a store that has a bra fit specialist, or a lingerie shop, and get fitted for a new bra. You are going to be wearing a gorgeous dress on your wedding day, so there's no excuse for wearing the bra you've had since college underneath."
DO ask lots of questions while trying on wedding dresses.
You should ask questions of the boutique owner and staff—but also of yourself. You should always ask yourself a few questions to make sure the dress you love not only makes you feel spectacular but also works for the activities of the day. Make sure you have the answers to these: Do I feel beautiful, confident and comfortable? Can I dance in it? Can I sit down? Am I self-conscious about any part of my body in my dress? Although a gown may be gorgeous, if you can't move in it all night and feel trapped, mummy-style, it's not the right one for you.